Sport equipment manufacturers have been grappling with the question of whether the sport’s biggest brands should be in or out of the sports gear business.
The sport is growing, and the market is expanding.
But the equipment manufacturers are struggling to keep up.
With their big name brands having to compete against newer brands with cheaper products, some are looking to move on.
“It’s tough to make money, especially for the smaller companies, as the sport has changed and they have to compete with new brands,” said Mark Jorgensen, vice president of sports at the National Hockey League’s Milwaukee Bucks.
“The companies that are doing it right are trying to build on their existing brand and their existing sales, and then they’re looking for ways to expand their portfolio.
That’s what we’re seeing with the big brands.”
Jorgensen is referring to the fact that companies like Nike, Adidas and Reebok are looking at the sport of hockey, the biggest of all.
While sports equipment companies have been trying to diversify into other areas, like apparel and footwear, they have been slow to do so.
The biggest problem, said Jorgenson, is that the smaller equipment manufacturers don’t have the same amount of clout.
“They’re a bit more niche, they’re a little bit less market-dominant, they don’t necessarily have the brands that Nike does,” he said.
“And Nike doesn’t have brands that are synonymous with the sport.”
With that, they are trying things like making new products that are marketed to younger demographics, like the NHL’s Reeboks, which are designed to appeal to kids, as opposed to the older kids.
“A lot of the younger kids aren’t fans of the brand they’re using,” said Jorgo.
“But they’re fans of a brand that has been around for a long time, and is associated with the youth sports community.”
There are also smaller companies looking to make some changes in the sports equipment business, like Jorgensons Bucks.
The Bucks made some changes to their gear last year, including a new line of apparel that has some of the company’s biggest names.
Jorgenson said the Bucks would like to move forward with more brands in the sport, but the bigger companies don’t seem to be able to make a lot of headway.
“There’s a lot more people in this space that are interested in doing it than there are people that are making a lot,” he added.
The Sports Recovery Equipment brand will likely have to move into a new space, said Jordan, who added that they are considering a number of possible locations for the new company.
“We have a very strong partnership with the NHL and we have a lot in common with the leagues.
It’s a pretty simple business model,” he explained.”
You get an offer from a big company, they give you a bunch of money and then you’re going to do whatever you want to do.”
It will be interesting to see if the new brand’s name will change as well.